It is not a coincidence that the Nissan Titan is the last new half-ton truck you can buy that comes standard with a V8 – and that 2024 will be the last year you’ll be able to buy this truck.
It’s not official – yet – but all indications are that Nissan will cease offering the Titan altogether after the end of the ’24 model year.
And the reason why has everything to do with this truck’s standard V8.
What It Is
The Titan is Nissan’s full-size truck, similar to others in the class such as the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. It is different than all of them in that unlike any of them, it comes standard with a V8 – and doesn’t offer anything less.
And that’s the problem.
Not for people who like trucks with V8s – rather than turbo fours and hybridized sixes – but for Nissan, because the Titan’s mileage (on paper) is less than third as much as required by the federal government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations and each Titan sold reduces Nissan’s corporate average fuel economy number. The lower it goes, the more Nissan must pay – in fines – and the more expensive Nissans become. This makes it harder to sell them.
And so, the Titan’s got to go – so that Nissan can sell more Rogues and Leafs and Ariyas. Which is just what the government wants.
Like other half-tons, the Titan is available in King or Crew cab configurations. An interesting difference is that Nissan asks less for the Crew cab version of its truck, which stickers for $45,790 to start. The King cab version – which has smaller rear doors and less room in back – stickers for $49,140 to start, but it does come standard with 4WD.
Even so, a 4WD-equipped version of the Crew cab stickers for $48,960 to start. And you can’t get the King cab with 2WD.
Two other trims are also available – but only with the Crew cab configuration. The first is the PRO 4X, which comes standard with 4WD, off-road suspension upgrades, skid plates, tow hooks and all-terrain tires.
It lists for $53,500 to start.
A top-of-the-line Platinum is the most luxury-focused version of Nissan’s full-sized pickup. Upgrades include two-tone paint, chrome running boards, puddle lamps, heated leather seats (and steering wheel), a 12 speaker premium audio system and 20 inch chrome-plated wheels.
This trim is available with either 2WD ($59,440) or 4WD ($62,750).
What’s New For 2024
A Bronze Edition is available (SV trims only). It includes special exterior/interior trim, LED headlights and a 20 inch wheel/tire package.
Solid axle/leaf spring rear suspension is simple and durable.
Top-of-the-line Platinum costs tens of thousands less than top-of-the-line rivals.
What’s Not So Good
No lower-cost Work truck trim.
No eight-foot bed option.
Only one King cab version – and it costs more than Crew cab versions.
The Titan is the only new half-ton truck that comes standard with a V8 engine; rivals like the Toyota Tundra no longer offer one. The Chevy Silverado 1500 comes standard with a four. The Ford F-150 and the Ram 1500 come standard with V6s.
They do cost less – with their smaller engines. For example, the Ford F-150 stickers for $34,845 to start (with a standard 3.3 liter V6). And a Chevy Silverado 1500 stickers for $36,300 (with a standard 2.7 liter four).
But you pay for that – in the currency of less engine (and less capability).
The Titan’s standard 5.6 liter V8 makes 400 horsepower and every Titan can pull at least 9,240 lbs. The F-150’s standard 3.3 liter V6 makes 290 horsepower – and so equipped, the Ford’s maximum tow rating is only 8,200 lbs. The Chevy’s standard 2.7 liter four makes 310 horsepower – and Chevy says the truck can pull 8,900 lbs. The question is – for how long . . . before something breaks?
Equipped with their optional V8s, the Ford and the Chevy pull away from the Titan, with much higher maximum tow capacities: 13,000 for the Ford and 13,300 for the Chevy. And these half-ton trucks are available with eight foot beds (and with regular cabs).
More about that follows below.
Still, there’s something wonderfully, insolently retro about the Titan’s standard V8. It’s like seeing a battleship at sea again, as opposed in drydock – as a floating museum. It is a reminder of trucks as they were and this reminder isn’t only under the hood (more about that, too, can be found below).
A nine speed automatic is the Titan’s standard transmission. It has three overdrive gears – 7th, 8th and 9th – and 9th is an astoundingly deep 0.597 (.67 or so being more typical). This deep overdrive gearing enables the V8 Titan to return 21 MPG on the highway (15 in the city, lower because you’re not likely to get into 9th in city-speed driving) even with a 3.62 axle ratio.
As a point of comparison, the V6-powered F-150 only manages 19 city, 24 highway and the four cylinder powered Chevy Silverado 1500 just 19 city, 22 highway – which is pretty thirsty for a four.
Especially relative to a V8.
Like the others in its class, the Titan is available in 2WD or 4WD configurations – assuming you want the Crew cab. Unlike the others in its class, the King cab is not available without 4WD, which is why the King cab version of this truck costs more to start than the Crew cab version.
The Titan drives more like a truck than most of its rivals – and not just because it has a V8 under the hood. It has a solid axle (and leaf springs) out back. Most half-tons now come standard with some form of independently sprung rear suspension.
This has its good – and its bad points.
The good: On rough, unpaved roads, a truck with an independent rear suspension is less jarred by potholes ,washboards and such. And off-road, an independent rear suspension allows for more rear wheel articulation.
The bad: An independent suspension is more complicated (more parts) and (generally) less durable because it has more parts and so more parts that could break and more parts that will eventually wear out. A pair of steel leaf springs and a cast-iron rear axle are very hard to hurt and will usually last at least as long as the truck, if not longer.
Change out the rear shocks every 5-6 years or so and that’s pretty much it.
And if you don’t drive off-road (or on really bad roads) you will probably not notice much if any difference in the ride.
But you will notice the very pleasant sound of the Titan’s 5.6 liter V8 firing up. It’s an authentic rather than augmented sound, too. And – like what’s out back – the V8 is simpler and so likely to be more long-term durable than the turbocharged V6 engines that are becoming the default engines (and in some cases, the only engines) in other half-ton trucks. These latter feel just as strong – courtesy of the boost – but they are under more pressure and while an engine can be built to take more pressure, it’s probably a better long-term strategy (if you like things that last long-term) to operate under less rather than more pressure.
Especially when it doesn’t cost you much to lower it.
What’s the difference between 17 MPG – the Titan’s average – and the 23 MPG (average) claimed by (as an example) the Ford F-150 with its optional twice-turbo’d 3.5 liter V6? It’s actually less than the putative 6 MPG difference, on paper. On the road, the twice-turbo’d V6-powered F-150 will deliver closer to the same 17 MPG that the Titan’s V8 does – unless you drive it like a Prius. Use it like a truck and it’ll be about the same – with the difference being the V6 is under a lot of pressure to produce the power of a V8 that doesn’t need pressurizing to make power.
Another thing about the Titan that’s different – that you might like – is that it’s the only new half-ton that doesn’t come standard with a Tesla-style massive LCD touchscreen built into its center stack. That’s because the current design dates back to 2016 – a time before the craze to turn even trucks into cell phone-emulating devices took off.
It still has analog main gauges, too.
Even better, it also does not have Lane Keep Assist “technology” – i.e., steering interference “technology” that countermands your steering inputs, as for example when you change lanes without signaling first. Or Automated Stop-Start (ASS) “technology” that shuts off the engine every time the truck isn’t moving, which can be very annoying – especially when you’ve just stopped to park and you push the engine stop button and it starts the engine, because the “technology” had already turned it off.
Driving the new Titan is like driving the 2016 Titan, in other words.
And there’s a lot to be said for that.
This truck comes only two ways – King cab and Crew cab – and both are the same overall length (228.2 inches) and ride on the same 139.8 inch wheelbase, with the difference made up by shortening or lengthening the bed in relation to the cab. King cab models come standard with a 6.5 foot bed; Crew cab models come standard with a 5.5 foot bed. You cannot mix/match these combos; it’s either one – or the other.
There’s also no eight foot bed option.
This lack of options is part of the reason why the Titan’s being retired after the end of the 2024 model year. Many truck buyers (especially buyers who need a truck for work) need an eight-foot bed. Many want a regular (or just an extended) cab, without the extra pair of doors. By not offering these configurations, Nissan disadvantaged the Titan relative to its Big Three rivals, especially the F-150 and the Chevy Silverado – both of which are offered in every imaginable configuration. The Ram 1500 – while no longer available with a regular cab – is still available with an eight foot bed and in (literally) a dozen different trims/configurations.
The other winnowing here is that as of this model year, the King cab is only available in one (SV) trim, which means you can’t get certain options (such as the Pro-4X package) unless you buy a Crew cab, first.
That said, this truck may be just what you’re looking for, if you want to avoid many of the things that come standard in newer-design trucks.
This includes how they look.
Ironically, the Titan looks less monstrous than some of its newer-design rivals. It’s ironic – in part because of this truck’s name – and also because when Nissan introduced this model some 20 years ago, it was arguably the most aggressive-looking new truck on the market at the time.
It’s not anymore.
It just looks like a truck. Not like it’s trying to look like a flexing bodybuilder.
Every Titan comes standard with a locking (and damped) tailgate and you can still get a three-across bench seat – but only in Crew cabs.
Nissan also – uniquely – sells an XD version of the Titan that’s a notch up in capability from a 1500/half-ton pick-up but just below the 2500s offered by the Big Three. The XD has a heavier-duty frame and can pull up to 11,033 lbs.
The Bottom Line
This will probably be your last to buy a new Titan.
It may also be one of your last chances to buy a V8-powered half-ton truck that isn’t a used truck.
. . .
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